see snake

Was out on-a-job early this morning and while driving home mid morning saw a coahwhip cross the road in front to me, fast, fast, fast.  Then a bit further, this gopher snake laying there; what great luck!  I pulled over and was standing there for 10 or more minutes.  We were just watching each other and I was wishing I had my camera when i realized, duhhhh, i have a camera on my phone…so i got a couple pics of her.  She was about 6-7 feet long and had the most devastatingly beautiful undulations.  Gopher snakes will imitate a rattler when they fell threanted, but after i got within a foot of her face, she decided to finally head for the brush without ‘posturing’.  She was so shiny and beautiful and i read that they can live to be 20-30 years old.  So a special thanks to all the snakes out there today!

we ARE stardust!

Yes we are…amazing…
and so we are cousins to all the planets in this solar system, including my
current favorite, Saturn.  This picture
of Saturn was on Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) today and shows this storm
on Saturn that is absolutely awesome. Not only has it been going on for years
and encircled the entire planet, it is now ‘swallowing’ itself like an Ouroborus
(a multicultural and ancient symbol depicting
something constantly
re-creating itself or the eternal return). 
The narrow blue band is a ring
and the wide, tilted, dark bands are the shadows of the rings.  Read more about this at:


A year on Saturn
lasts 29.7 earth years, as long as it takes for Saturn to make a complete orbit
around the sun, but a day there, the time it takes for the planet to make a
complete rotation around its axis, is only 10.6 hours, less than half an earth
day.  So far they have discovered 60
moons around Saturn.  


Meanwhile here on
earth, our earthly cousins, stardust too….

…i could drink this color, but love the pollen grains especially on the edges of the petals…

the sun was at a perfect angle to capture the shadow of the needles

was wanting to capture that fresh-fresh-green and caught another bug too

loving the way the spiders use the very tip to attach a web and catch a bit of pollen too

is she dancing or is it me?

and this ocotillo has joined in and gone psychedelic

grasshopper food

Why have I not posted
in days…why am I not seeing anything to appreciate…too many bureaucratic and
business details invading (like a
virus) my life right now…too many time constraint, always rushing to the next
thing that HAS to get done…it is all BS. 
It is actually the norm for modern American humans, maybe other ‘first’
world countries too…what happened to freedom? 
I have even been treating my morning walk, instead of like a prayer,
like another task to be checked off the list…ouch…what is that on my right hand…stop….slow
down…pay attention to this detail…it
is a mini grasshopper chewing the skin between two knuckles…I struggle
with my left hand, which might as well be my foot for all its dexterity-not,
to get a photo of her…ouch…


Great value in
carrying a camera around is that it helps to put me in the mode to SEE what is
going on around me, pay attention to the natural details, not getting
distracted by….all the ubiquitous mechanical details… yeah… usually ones that earn me money…and they better because
they are almost painful…certainly more painful to my soul and brain than this
hungry grasshopper.

Taken as a symbol/message, a grasshopper encourages us to slow down and listen to our heart songs, see/feel
our inner beauty and creativity. Please don’t silence these
inner musings, nurture them and make them the background music of your

now…look me in the eye!

life in waves

It started with
finding a grace-full, rounded, oh-so-smooth quartz stone in the wash, rather
rare in these volcanic hills.  I realized
that it had ‘come’ from the granitic Catalina Mountains, heaved up with great
force, now framing the north of this Tucson Valley.  These Tucson Mountains, framing the west of
the valley, what I call home, were on top of the Catalinas some 30 million
years ago and have been slowly separating, now 20+ miles of valley between.  (They have actually found ‘matching’ rocks more than 20
miles apart!) I am struck with the unfathomable slowness of this geologic wave
that is moving these two titanic bodies apart.

Looking up into a crevasse,
a protected microclimate (steep, shady, less sun, more moisture) I hear a gasp
escape me before I even register on what I see…not one, but two, sahuaros beginning
to bloom.  So this, today, is the start
of the wave of building sahuaro blooms and fruits that will last until the
monsoon wave hits in early July.

…not the prettiest, but the hearald of what is moving in…

The winds have been
downright annoying for weeks.  It is not
a steady breeze, but mighty gusts.  These
wild, localized waveforms TEAR at the desert and leave evidence of their
passing.  It reminds me to check on my
inner sahuaro tip (from fallen friend). 

I see it has shriveled and twisted and I know
that water is leaving it in a slow wave, until only skeleton and mineral are

I remember, then
research for you, the Schumann Wave, a fascinating phenomenon. 

There is a natural cavity that exists between
the earth and our ionosphere that conducts electromagnetic waves and is

excited by the electric currents in lightning. 
Schumann wave has a wavelength
equal to…unbelievable… the circumference of this earth… huge and slow!   It is affected

by lightning activity, variation in amounts of water vapor, and solar radiation
(we are in a solar maximum this year) and is related to…you are not going to
believe this, hahaha…sprites, jets and elves….  … and they are beginning to be used in
earthquake prediction.  They show variations
that coincide with the day-night transitions. 
Having been born at sunset, this is particularly fascinating to me.  To me this wave is like the HEARTBEAT of
planet earth!

I remember the solar
wind wave at the very edges of our solar system that Voyager is now passing
through (
).  The breathtaking photographs of
nebulae formed from supernova, cosmic beauties that are energy waves escaping
exploding suns (  ).   The astronomy field is filled with examples
of waves.

Then I am brought
back to the jarring reality of the last several days.   Waves moving through the normally solid
earth; earthquakes in Oklahoma and Iran. 
Explosions in Boston and Texas, vicious and destructive waves of flash,
fire, debris, chemicals, sound, shock…changing everything in their path
forever.  As crazy as life seems right
now, if I frame it in waves, I can zoom out, see a really big picture and
understand a basic structure of this universe that puts this all in its
place.  It is clear to me that I/humans experience
life in waves and that time is a component of wave. We may be on the crest or
trough of a wave; the wave may have geological or explosive speed; it may be
gentle and creative or viscous and destructive; the wave may be building,
climaxing, or receding/reseeding.   

It is my hope that
these ponderings bring you a wave of comfort and peace.

this beauty began the rattler and fear wave this past Sunday…

yesterday’s cloud waves provide a rich and deep contrast for the ocotillo wave that is at a crest!


blooms and bugs

The annual flowers have dried up, even the lilies with their underground reserves in bulbs, but the next wave of blooms has begun…on the cactus.  Cactus blooms are thick, tough looking, and backed up by something that knows how to preserve water, unlike the ephemeral wildflowers, so delicate and fine.  The bugs and bees are out and I can see lizards running around …chasing bugs I presume….in the rocks below my second story window.  Soon the yellow wave of palo verde blooms will creep up the hills to my home.  They are almost too bright to look at down near the Santa Cruz river right now.  Wave after wave of beauty…

These ocotillo blooms got knocked off by the vicious wind the other day and are arranged from just barely buds on the right to full long tubules on the left.

whats happier than a bee in pollen?  and this pollen looks like magic fairy dust…

I wanted to look this guy in the eye but his backside has quite a stinger…

this bloom is on a small tree that looks a little like an Ironwood…I have no idea what it is, so if you do, let us know…

hedgehog cactus with its awesome combo of chartreuse and hot hot pink…

fallen friend

the wind yesterday scared me…50 MPH + gusts…I could feel this house with its 20″ thick masonry walls being bullied…we lost a large limb from a palo verde, but one of the giants with a precarious hold on the edge got tossed into the wash and shattered into pieces.  So sad, even the dogs were sniffing it all over to smell the story.  I never realized that the ……g..r..e..e..n…… penetrates into the tissue a good quarter inch, it is not just on the surface skin.  And a most beautiful green it is…feels like lots of things are a falling and getting blow away right now…what phoenix will arise from the ashes?

my shadow playing on a sahuaro near my porch…

Comment on bifurcation

Some of the close ups of the various plants and flowers are just breathtaking. I could relate to the burrs that get caught in the dog fur and our socks. It’s amazing something so difficult like old beliefs are like burrs that get us all tangled up. I wish more of us could see that and cut them out more often.


Yesterday, I walked
out of a neighbors house, totally frustrated about his rigid insistence on a
decades old (I thought) belief/prejudice… it was the opposite of what much of
the ‘effort’ of my life has been about, a bifurcation of beliefs.  How could things change so little, especially
things I care about deeply?

This morning I
finally succumbed to photographing a plant that I really dislike, at least part
of the year, the part coming up…it’s form is to be greatly appreciated even if
it’s form is what allows it to catch any teeny passing fiber, totally entwine
itself in the passer by, working deeper and deeper and becoming impossible to
get out, eventually having to be cut out. 
(I can see this as a metaphor for many things, like ‘old’ beliefs…) It
is a bursage, abundant in the washes, and unlike many sages, has none of that
heavenly smell.  There will be hours of
wrestling with the dogs to remove the burs over many months to come… uggggh…but…
even I have to admire its beauty and remarkable design.


While cleaning the
office just now I ran across a pile of books and a serendipitous opening of one
that caught my eye (Prigogine’s difficult, but awesome “Order Out of Chaos” and
it certainly feels like a time of chaos to me right now) I read “We know now that
societies are immensely complex systems involving a potentially enormous number
of bifurcations exemplified by the variety of cultures that have evolved in the
relatively short span of human history. 
We know that such systems are highly sensitive to fluctuations….even
small fluctuations may grow and change the overall structure.”  This is on the last page of the book, so you
know it must be the thought that was intended to propagate. 

My understanding of Bifurcation  – Any forking (not fucking…) going from unity
to duality, therefore a fundamental force of creativity…I think I’ll start substituting
the word bifurcate for fuck…hey, bifurcate you buddy! But really, they are
opposites, hahaha, one is unity to duality the other is bringing two opposites together
for the potential creation of a new thing. 
Not surprisingly, Bifurcations and strange attractors are cousins…yes, totally whacky over here…

Here’s to
BIFURCATIONS and growth…and appreciating even the things that are difficult to
accept and love…

empty shell of…….milliped

I see at least 4 bugs and one lovely coin shaped seed caught up in this rare mariposa lily.

I did not know that larkspur had this fuzzy beard…appreciating the capability of blowing these photos up…ZOOMING IN…

zooming in on pollen on this very inconspicuous flower…it makes up for its plainness with an unbelievably strong smell of pumped up marigolds.